- Kids Health
How do you get rid of head lice and nits and how to find lice.
How do I get rid of head lice?
How do I get rid of Head Lice? Is a Question parents ask at least once in their lives with young children. Head lice coming home is every parents worst nightmare, especially if they remember that awful smell from Head lice lotion from when they were children. They say only Cockroaches would survive a nuclear war but I bet these horrible little parasites would!
Itching yet? Sorry x
There is an extra dread when you have experience with these horrible creatures. Head lice and their eggs (nits) are notoriously difficult to get rid of.
In fact if you have done a search for getting rid of head lice then you are probably totally fed up of these head lice by now.
The head lice seem easy enough at first to obliterate. There are a number of things you can do to eradicate them. The nits or eggs however are glued to the hair strand and are extremely difficult to detach. Here are some products natural and chemical you can try. Believe me you WILL try anything after a while. Short of shaving your child’s head.
What do head lice look like?
An adult louse
What are Lice?
As you can tell by the picture they are not solid in colour as people imagine and depending on hair colour can be extremely hard to find.
The large adult like the above picture are what lay the eggs however. The other smaller Head lice are usually called nymphs and are not mature enough to lay eggs ( nits).
Removing Lice with out any treatment
You can save yourself a lot of money by simply combing through every day for two weeks. If you do this the life cycle of the head lice will be broken. However this is a tedious task and the chances are your child could be re-infested by some one at school before then.
I find the trick in using a comb to pull the head lice and nits out is to get a good head lice comb. There are a few on the market.
The typical head lice comb tends to be the white one that comes with treatments. Some do now provide metal ones but white plastic ones were traditional. They can also be bought on line relatively cheap. Whilst they break very easily they are the best as the second edge is very close toothed and is the best for getting the nits out of fine hair in my experience. You will just find yourself constantly buying them.
There is also the metal toothed comb that is sturdier but as far as I am concerned the teeth are too far apart for nits. Great for head lice however and the nits will come out with this comb if used with conditioner. These type are now some times supplied in the box with some treatments.
The robi comb has been available for a while now. This is very good and comes highly recommended. The more expensive end of the spectrum, it has an unfair advantage over the others in that it is electrical and gives the head lice a small shock and zaps them. It is around £20 or $30. So 10 times dearer than its competition. But a lot cheaper than having to buy complimenting treatments.
Personally the one I choose is cheaper than most nit combs, but you have to buy it from a pet store. Yes, that's right. I use a flea comb. They are metal and the teeth are close together.
Over the counter treatments for Head Lice and Nits
Whilst some people prefer not to use chemicals nowadays there are some that still feel they are safe in moderation and they sell as a slap on, wash off method. Don't be fooled, they are as much work and some give the child an allergic reaction. One of the supposedly mild ones burnt my daughters nose because she has sensitive skin.
There are the old fashioned smelly lotions that poison the lice. This is apparently not very healthy, is chemical and the lice are starting to build a natural resistance to this kind of treatment.The chemical poison is malation 0.5 %. You will see steroid looking head lice in a decade!!
The other kind of over the counter products are lotions such as Lyclear, Fullmarks, and Hedrin. These work by dehydrating the lice and eggs, hence killing them. However they are meant to be effective in 15 minutes to an hour. I left it for 8 hours and still saw crawlers.
The natural method to head lice removal
Although the new lotions and shampoos do contain natural ingredients that they home in on to sell their product to conscientious parents. They still have a number of chemicals in them.
There are a few natural ways that are cheaper than the bottled lotions.
Coconut oil, Neem oil, Olive oil. Most oils will coat the hair shaft and hence forth stop the lice from gripping. Also making it easier for the nits to slide of the hair with the comb. Not ass easy as it sounds to read.
Tea tree oil. The smell of the tea tree oil apparently disrupts their hormone signals and depresses their feeding and breeding. As does the Neem oil. This is yet to be proven to me but seeing as so many are raving about it I am currently giving it a try.
Good old fashioned vinegar. This dissolves the glue that the lice use to stick their eggs to the hair. Once they are unstuck they can be " easily" brushed out with the nit comb.
Lastly but not least is good old and cheap conditioner. Be prepared to use the whole bottle if need be. So get the cheap store own brand. Simply apply and comb. Rinse the comb after every stroke.
The combing needs to be done every other day for two weeks to break the cycle. You will also need to wash clothing and bedding. I would also vacuum the mattress for good measure. Keep up the fight against these horrible little beasties. If every parent did it then schools would not be so annoyingly riddled. There is nothing more annoying than battling these to see the typical family that every one knows doesn't do any thing about it.